Every morning, first thing upon rising, Berlin asks for pancakes. Originally I was using a simple store-bought gluten free pancake mix, but then as time went on, I realized how creative you can be with pancakes. The best part being, that you can basically sneak anything into them, and your little one will be none the wiser. In our house, Ryan has owned the title of pancake master, making delicious, buttery, Danish pancakes. But I now own the title for most creative pancakes, ones that Berlin will scarf up without hesitation (no matter how much healthy crap I load into them).
I’ve been experimenting with various pancake recipes for the past year now (I can’t believe I’ve only posted one). I should just change this blog to a pancake blog and post nothing but pancakes from here on out. But I’ll save you the despair, and post only this one (for now…).
Banana Hemp Pancakes
1 1/2 medium bananas
3 pasture-raised organic eggs
1 tablespoon Organic Hemp seeds
Splash of Pure Vanilla extract
Organic Coconut oil
Whisk eggs in a medium mixing bowl, then add the bananas and mash slightly (don’t over mash the bananas, leave kind of chunky). Next add all other ingredients (except the coconut oil) and mix well. Heat the griddle, add a spoonful of coconut oil and pour the mix onto the grill.
I make small dollar size pancakes for Berlin, but do any size you choose. To serve, I either put a small smathering of jam on them or serve them plain. The bananas already add sweetness, so there is no need for syrup.
In my post last week, I mentioned why I believe you should only buy grass-fed cheese and butter. I’m going to stress how important it is again, and why you should only buy pasture-raised, organic eggs. Yes, they are expensive (from $7-10 a dozen), but they are well worth the investment (especially if you’re feeding them to your children).
First I’ll quickly explain the difference between all the different labels you see on egg cartons these days (mostly all advertising BS). Cage-free & Free-range are popular labels used lately, and both labels are far from what you think they mean. Neither of the chickens for either labels are truly “cage-free.” In fact, there are no regulations on either, so the hens that are supposedly “free” to roam and eat insects in there natural habitat, could in fact, only be outside for one minute a day. This is the same for eggs labeled “organic” as well (unless pasture-raised organic).
So you are wondering, why is this such a big deal? Well, for one, its inhumane. These hens are subject to forced molting (starving the hens to lay more eggs), beak trimming, and overcrowded, unsanitary conditions. Plus, the non-organic hens are given antibiotics and fed a diet based on GMO soy and corn. Furthermore, hens that are not allowed to forage in their natural habitat, and peck for bugs (their natural diet), will produce substantially less nutritious eggs (organic or not).
If that is not enough to convince you, here is an image of how “cage-free” chickens live. This is how a chicken should live. I know pasture-raised eggs are expensive, but unfortunately so is the cost of our health. When eggs are eaten properly (mostly raw), they provide a substantial amount of nutrients. One more thing to note, eggs get a bad rap for being unhealthy or causing high cholesterol. But its not the egg itself, its the quality of the egg, and how its prepared. So consider buying your eggs from a local farm (or the farmers market) next time you shop, and ask the merchants how the hens are raised. Or you can always raise a chicken yourself, I’m considering this idea for our family. I think it would be great fun for Berlin!
The weather here continues to be unseasonably warm, its been upper 80’s for days in the city, which is unheard of for San Francisco. This is the second heat wave in less than a month and I’ve been desperate to whip up something to cool us down.
This simple popsicle treat was just the trick, and not only was it refreshing, but it also helped with Berlin’s teething, got to love that! We haven’t been on a full shopping excursion for weeks, so I just threw whatever I could find into the blender, trying to include some greens, fat and fiber. I think it turned out pretty good for a “cleaning out the fridge” recipe. Here it is…
Coconut Pineapple Popsicles
1 can of Organic Coconut Milk
1 1/2 cups frozen pineapple chunks
1 cup organic kale
2 tablespoons chia seeds
Place all ingredients into Vitamix (or high power blender) and mix until smooth. Pour mixture into popsicle molds, making sure to fill completely to the brim and insert popsicle stick. Freeze for a min of 3-4 hours.
Once the pops are ready, place into a shallow dish of warm water for approx 30 seconds to loosen up the mold, then carefully pull the pops out of the mold.
If you don’t have popsicle molds they can easily be made in a large ice cube tray or a few dixie cups. Simply pour the mixture into the trays (or cups), insert a wooden popsicle stick into the center. Cover with saran wrap and freeze.
If your little one is not ready to eat popsicles just yet, simply serve it up as a smoothie. It provides perfect nutrition for the littles.
This picture cracks me up, she was pretty skeptical on her first bite, but she warmed up to it. Plus she downed a whole cup of the smoothie.
You might have heard me mention before that Berlin is obsessed with crackers. I don’t know when it all started, but I will tell you there is no turning back. For awhile I was trying to ignore her passion for the salty snack in hopes it would pass, but my denial was getting us nowhere. Every grocery trip was like a broken record, “crackers, crackers” throughout the entire store until I would finally give in (if you don’t know I’m a total pushover when it comes to my daughter). In all honesty, I’m ok with her having crackers on occasion, but since its grown into a love affair I’ve become a bit more concerned with all the processed ingredients and even more so the high sodium.
So this week I set out to make my own healthy, low sodium crackers. Let me start by saying this was no easy task. It took me three tries to get to this recipe and I still feel like it could use some tweaking. However, Berlin was satisfied and ate almost the whole batch in one sitting, so I dubbed this recipe complete.
2 cups blanched almond flour
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg (or flax egg to make vegan)
1-2 tablespoons of water
Preheat oven to 350 degrees
In a large mixing bowl mix all dry ingredients together.
In a smaller bowl whisk egg and oil together.
Pour egg mixture into dry ingredients and mix until a dough forms. If the dough is crumbly add the water until dough is solid (I needed approx 1 tablespoon).
Cut two pieces of parchment paper the size of your baking sheet. Lay the first piece on a cutting board (or counter) and place dough in the middle.
Lay second piece of parchment paper over the dough and roll out until dough is about 1/4″ thick.
Cut crackers with a pizza roller into desired size and poke a hole in the middle (I used a chopstick).
Then transfer the parchment paper with the dough onto the baking sheet and bake for approx 10-12 minutes
I wanted the crackers to be soft and chewy for Berlin so they were less of a choking hazard, but if you like your crackers crispier then I would suggest baking them closer to 15-20 minutes.
These can easily be made vegan by substituting the egg with a flax egg or they could be made with dairy by using real cheddar cheese instead of nutritional yeast.
Hope your little one enjoys.